This Map Shows the Average Credit Score in All 50 States

A new report from one of the country’s three largest credit bureaus shows that the land of lutefisk and 10,000 lakes also had the highest average credit score in the country last year.

Minnesotans averaged a score of 713 in 2018, according to Experian’s annual State of the Credit report. That’s high enough to fall into the “good” range of scores as defined by the bureau.

In second place was another midwestern state, South Dakota. A trio of New England states — Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts — rounded out the top five.

States in the South did not do well. Mississippi’s average of 652 was the lowest in the country, and Louisiana, Georgia, and Texas joined Nevada as the only other states with average scores of 659 or below, putting them squarely in the “fair” category.

Rod Griffin, Experian’s director of consumer education and awareness, told CNBC that the poor performance of southern states, which have historically lagged behind other parts of the country, might be due to people using more of their credit in that part of the country.

“People may be using their credit cards as a supplement to their income in the South, or are just using them more and carrying a higher balance,” Griffin said. Mississippi residents use, on average 35 percent of their available credit, just behind Arkansas, which leads the country at 36 percent.

State credit scores

The average credit score for all Americans, according to Experian, is 680. That’s up five points from last year, but still down five from 2008, the year of the Great Recession.

What’s driving this progress? Michele Raneri, a vice president at Experian, says it’s young people.

“Since the recession, responsible credit card behaviors and lower debt among younger consumers is driving an upward trend in average credit scores across the nation. Over the last ten years, those 18 – 21 increased their credit scores by 23 points on average compared to those 18-21 ten years ago.”

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